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Bogart Vs. Cagney Vs. Robinson


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Raft was a limited actor but he still had a dapper screen presence for which none of the three thread actors were known. Yes, they were all decidedly better actors but there was never a moment in which I thought of Raft as not being the genuine article as a tough guy on screen. The fact that Raft's career has so many programmers didn't help, though the actor was, at times, his own worst enemy by demonstrating notoriously poor script judgment. It's my understanding that the New York street tough guy was not particularly literate, which may have had something to do with it.

 

And, yes, Raft does have a touch of screen immortality, by flipping that coin in Scarface, and for his personification of a cold blooded gang boss in Billy Wilder's comic masterpiece, Some Like It Hot. There, Raft actually did appear in a couple of good films, after all.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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While it's true that Raft maintained gangland associates (once, reputedly, using them to help avoid an "accident" from befalling James Cagney), it's also true, of course, that Cagney had a New York street background as a young boy where he saw a lot of hoods. He looked down upon them pretty well as parasites, however.

 

That shared street background gave Cagney and Raft an off screen rapport with one another, and Cagney spoke very highly about Raft in his autobiography.

 

siegelandraft.jpg

 

Raft with pal Benjamin Bugsy Siegel. You didn't want to get on Siegel's bad side. Unfortunately for Siegel, he did precisely that with fellow hoods.

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Well of course if people were just picking there 4 favorites most would pick other people, but that would be misunderstanding the artist's intent here. The intent was to feature American cultural icons. (but I do wonder if having a tragic or early death was also a theme).

 

So from an iconic POV, the artist chose the right 3 in Dean, Monroe and Elvis (BTW 3 people I'm not fans of except Elvis in his very early years). Bogie is the odd man out here but Bogie and Wayne are clearly the iconic male actors of their period. (but Wayne would be an even more odd choice in that setting).

 

As a replacement for Bogie I would of had either Frank Sinatra or Audrey Hepburn. Again, not because this is a talent contest, but because of their iconic status.

 

PS: Years back I got one of these posters, framed as a gift. They knew I was a fan of Bogie so that was their reason. But the picture is hung in my garage instead of in my living room where I have pictures of my favorite studio era stars. Luckily this person never asked me why I didn't hang this picture with my existing collection!

 

 

 

 

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Thanks, finance, and I'll take your word for it. But Cagney was born in the Lower East Side.

 

The opening paragraph of his autobiography:

 

Being born at the turn of this century in New York City had its hazards. The infant mortality then, particularly in the Lower East Side, was high - roughly two and a half times today's. For a time there it looked like I was going to be one of those statistics.

 

Cagney was born near Avenue D and Eighth Street in the Lower East Side on July 17, 1899. When he was two his family moved to 429 East Seventy-ninth Street, and after that, it was 166 East Ninety-sixth Street.

 

New Yawkers reading this will have a far better idea than this Canadian as to where those street locations are.

 

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Baby Face - talk about attitude; he even had it then. Compare this image of Cagney to that poster of him from 13 Rue Madeleine - same expression.

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I agree about Cagney photos, same expressions! Too funny! About Cagney and where he lived-I know when he was growing up he was always on the East Side[Places that Tom mentioned]. He went from lower to upper East Side. He also lived in Ridgewood[Queens, NY] for a short time. Also, when he was a star he had an apartment near the Players Club in Gramercy Park[so did Bogie and some others].

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George Raft and Cagney both loved to dance. George danced in places owned by mobsters but never wanted to be a part of their scene. Cagney was a good boxer/fighter. Cagney would fight for his brothers because he was a better and stronger fighter. So Cagney was tough in real life, but he also had a sensitive side.

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The Sensitive Side of Bogart

 

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Bogie with pal Peter Lorre and Lorre's daughter, Catherine. Both men were settling into fatherhood by the time this photo was taken in the '50s. Lorre had a strong loyalty to Bogart, calling him his closest friend in Hollywood.

 

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Bogart with his own daughter, Leslie.

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I have followed this discussion with interest, but have not contribUted to it until now, be,side I love all three of these actors, their many movies and characterizations. They are all among MY "favorites" a nebulous categorization that I won't list by numbers as to most favorite etc (with one obvious exception, for whom I have an ongoing thread). Anyway, along with these three, I also enjoy Raft and others, like Richard Widmark Richard Conte, etc. who also did these types of role. I am just happy I can regularly see them all featured on TCM.

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I have followed this discussion with interest, but have not contribUted to it until now, be,side I love all three of these actors, their many movies and characterizations. They are all among MY "favorites" a nebulous categorization that I won't list by numbers as to most favorite etc (with one obvious exception, for whom I have an ongoing thread). Anyway, along with these three, I also enjoy Raft and others, like Richard Widmark Richard Conte, etc. who also did these types of role. I am just happy I can regularly see them all featured on TCM.

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Tom: Off the top of my head, o can thinl of a couple more good films Raft was on: THEY DRIVE Y NIGHT and MANPOWER. i agree he was a lousy judge of scripts, whether due to superstition or wanting to maintsin an image. His decisions allowed for Bogarts rise as a star.

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You're right, Arturo. When I listed George Raft's few good films, I definitely should have included They Drive By Night. I think that truck driving melodrama was, without question, the highlight of his Warners contract period. A first rate production in every sense, with brisk direction by Raoul Walsh and a wonderful cast delivering some of the smartest wise acres dialogue of the period. Raft is quite good in the lead of the film, as well.

 

Manpower can be compared to this film, inasmuch as it is also an illustration of Warners' ability to make working man dramas like no other studio. As an entertainment, however, I think that Manpower, while not at all a bad film, still falls far short of the same level of excellence achieved by They Drive By Night.

 

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They Drive By Night. An absolutely first rate illustration of Warners' ability to turn working man melodrama into high entertainment. Blessed with Raoul Walsh's fast moving direction, a superior cast and at times sparkling dialogue.

 

Some of the best of the latter occurs towards the film's opening set in a roadside cafe, with waitress Ann Sheridan's bantering give-and-take with various trucker drivers.

 

And some of that very clever dialogue is, even in those code times, a bit risque. One of the truckers, in looking Sheridan over, refers to her "classy chassis."

 

"Who do you think you're kidding," she barks back at the wise guy, "You couldn't even afford the headlights!"

 

The film, unfortunately, veers off into murder melodrama in its second half, that portion of the story a partial remake of a Paul Muni film (and a pretty good one), Bordertown. Even then, however, it's still fun. There are few moments in the movies quite so deliciously over-the-top as when an hysterically laughing Ida Lupino starts yelling in a courtroom, "The doors made me do it."

 

Bogart has a supporting role as Raft's brother in one of the actor's best films from his pre-stardom period.

 

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A promotional cast shot for the film. So many smiling happy faces! Even George Raft! Studios seemed to love to have shots like this for many of their movies, no matter what the film's subject matter, it appears. I usually associate this kind of cast imagery with comedies, like MGM's Libelled Lady (the very introduction of the film itself). Here, however, a truck driving melodrama gets the same treatment.

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Well according to Finance, Cagney would have to play cello or the violin to be sensitive!

 

But yea Cagney has a sensitive side and one can see that in a movie like The Strawberry Blonde. Even in a role like Cody in White Heat he shows a sensitive side but only to his mom.

 

 

 

 

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This thread keeps coming back to Cagney, even though it is supposed to about all three actors named in the thread title.

 

I've posted here about him (Cagney) and also Bogart. I've been waiting to talk about Edward G. Robinson, so maybe now is the time.Caveat: I'm afraid I tend to be rather "random" in my ideas here. If I took the time to organize them properly, I'd never get around to posting them.

 

In some ways Eddie G. was the most versatile of the three. He played many different types of characters; in fact, although we often associate him with the "gangster" persona, he as often played intelligent sophisticated men, doctors, lawyers, business people. He also played the milquetoast type a few times- most notably in *Scarlet Street*.

This actor could easily go from menace to meekness, depending on the role..He had, as others have stated here, an extremely expressive face, and much of his greatest acting is in his eyes (Tom gave us a few graphic examples of this earlier on the thread.)

 

 

He could excel at tenderness: look at what a loving, gentle father and husband he is in *Our Vines Have Tender Grapes*. This is one of those family films that rings true, it has no artiface or maudlinity (I know that's not a real word, but it should be) to it. One of its most sweet and memorable scenes is the one in which he takes his daughter to see an elephant from a travelling carnival show. He wakes her up to do this, because he knows how much she longed to view this exotic creature. To see the man who was so often tough, sometimes almost evil ( *Sea Wolf* ) play a kind and decent family man is to see the kind of range Robinson was capable of. If anyone has never seen this genuinely sweet little film, try and catch it next time it's on.

 

 

This tender side is displayed in more of Robinson's work than one would initially think. Check out *Ilegal* to see Robinson in a very nuanced performance, as his character struggles with complicated ethical issues and his equally complicated feelings for his former partner's daughter.

 

 

Edward G. also had a sense of comic timing, again, like the "tender" side of him, something the average movie fan might not associate with him. As Tom and others have mentioned, he was in a number of "light gangster films" (for lack of a better genre title) that were basically comedies, making affectionate fun of his earlier tough gang leader roles. *Brother Orchid* is in many ways the best of these -hey, who would expect the formerly rabid Edward G. Robinson to turn into a monk? ! But *Larceny Inc.,*. *Little Giant*, and *A Slight Case of Murder*, while all perhaps lesser films when compared to Robinson's extensive and impressive canon of work, display a lighter side to his persona.

But actually, I always found Eddie G.'s riveting portrayal of Johnny Rocco in *Key Largo* revealed some hidden comic potential. Yes, he's a ruthless gangster who cares about no one but himself, but there's something just a little amusing about him. Maybe it's his utter and shameless meanness that makes me laugh at least once or twice.

One of my favourite scenes in *Key Largo*, and for that matter, one of my favourite Edward G. Robinson moments in any film, is, the one where he insists washed up torch singer and former girlfriend /"moll" Gaye Dawn (Claire Trevor) sing for the drink she is craving. Poor Claire wants a drink so badly that she does it, albeit with a pathetic "what...without any accompaniment?" as objection. She shakily sings her way through "Moaning Low" (actually, I think she gives a very effective performance, I kind of like it) and then sadly, wearily, demands her drink.

"No" says Johnny. "But Johnny, ya promised!" gasps an astonished and by now desperate Gaye.

"Yeah, but you were rotten." Johnny replies.

 

 

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It's so mean, it's funny. In that one simple phrase he's broken his word and heaped on even more humiliation on his former lover. And he just doesn't care.

 

 

I always know if a movie has gotten inside my skin if I find myself quoting it. Every now and then I find myself saying "Yeah, but you were rotten", and richly enjoying it.

 

 

Anyway, I've kind of digressed a bit. All I was trying to say here was, Edward G. Robinson had many facets to his screen persona, tenderness, decency, and an unsuspected gift for comic timing being among them.

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The tragedy of Robinson, as stated earlier in the thread, is that his time as a major player on the Hollywood scene ended with Key Largo in 1948.

 

Here's that same link again, for those who didn't have the chance to use it before, on an article about Eddie G. and HUAC, and the career price that he was forced to pay for his political activism.

 

http://tfm.usc.edu/autumn-2011/little-caesar-and-the-mccarthyist-mob

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MissW- Everyone has been discussing all 3 men as well as others like Raft and Muni. How can you say we keep coming back to Cagney. We keep coming back to everybody. I think you just like picking on me all the time. Are you with the blonde haters club or something.

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I haven't exactly counted all the posts here and figured out the percentage of how many are about Jimmy Cagney, but my impression is that the thread is a bit "Cagney-centric". I was just trying to balance things a little; it seemed to me that maybe there'd been a little less said about Edward G. Robinson than about the other two, especially Cagney.

 

There was absolutely no "picking on" of anyone. I was simply explaining that I thought it might not be amiss to talk about one of the other actors named in the thread's title.

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